Battle of the Brooklyn Egg Creams: Brooklyn Farmacy vs. Hinsch's

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An egg cream at Hinsch's.

Petey Freeman moved to Carroll Gardens from Hawaii to open the Brooklyn Farmacy back in June. The Farmacy gained plenty of attention before it opened, thanks to its previous incarnation as the historic, long-shuttered Vermont Pharmacy and a boost from the Discovery Channel's Construction Intervention.

Freeman was outspoken in his plans to create an old-school soda fountain that would dispense the new Brooklyn locavorganic gospel along with seltzer and sustainably sourced dairy. So certain was he of his soda-jerk prowess that Freeman took an Overflow magazine reporter to Hinsch's, the 62-year-old Bay Ridge luncheonette beloved by generations for its fountain drinks and plainspoken diner food, and proceeded to dis its egg cream. "You gotta be on your 'A' game, even though it's just an egg cream," he sniffed. "You never know who you're dealing with. You always gotta make the best egg cream possible. That's my mission statement -- to make the tastiest egg cream in Brooklyn."

So did he succeed? Did a Hawaii transplant, freshly arrived to bestow upon the natives organic dairy products and tasteful whimsy, get one over on the oldsters? We decided to find out.


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Brooklyn Farmacy's egg cream, to go.

First, we went to Brooklyn Farmacy. It has indeed been beautifully restored, from its intricate tile floors up to its stamped tin ceiling. Its wooden shelves were crowded with small-batch products like Anarchy in a Jar jams, Koeze peanut butter, and Morris Kitchen's Ginger Syrup, and a display of adorable knitted children's clothing fanned out near the doorway.

At the counter, we ordered a $2.50 egg cream to go from a woman who responded "of course" when we asked if the drink was made with Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup, a product for which egg cream fanatics love to insist there is no earthly substitute. For the record, it's also made with Hudson Valley Fresh whole milk, which lent the drink a gorgeous frothy head.

We took the egg cream outside, stuck a straw in it, and sipped. The seltzer offered plenty of fizz and tingle, and the syrup and dairy created what was in effect very good chocolate milk. All told, it was an extremely solid egg cream.


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